I will start with this: "If we do not abide in prayer, we will abide in temptation. Let this be one aspect of our daily intercession: "God, preserve my soul, and keep my heart and allits ways so that I will not be entangled." When this is true in our lives, a passing temptation will not overcome us. We will remain free while others lie in bondage." - John Owen 1616-1683
Insightful words, right?
God had brought me to this....and from HIS word HE brought me to this verse over and over ....
"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.". Luke 6.37
Let me rewrite it, "do not judge michelle, and you will not be judged - even the thoughts you are thinking...do not condemn, and you will not be condemned michelle ..remember Ex. 14.14 - I will do that at judgment time, and forgive michelle as I have forgiven you"......
You see, I am going to open my heart here. Please, this is very personal and I am trusting God in this.
Disclaimer: As I have said many times before, this blog is my therapy and I have noticed and been told that several people read it and crave its message and it helps their walk. It helps my walk, to go back and read WHAT God has done. This blog is my journal......a part of it. So, that is cool and I always want to be used of HIM, but I would NEVER want to hurt my husband, my own self, or another with what I 'published' just so I could get my thoughts out there. So, as I have said before, if you love me, pray for me and read. If you want to talk about it - call me or message me. If you are going to share this with another, I pray it is in love and it is because God asked you too and I will trust that God will use my testimony for HIS will. For those reasons I won't 'tag' this blog post to Facebook but just leave it here as I believe God will draw the ones to it that should read it. Now back to my humbled heart...that was judging......
I think my judging was against a few that are within my life. They are seeking God and seeking help, but in my opinion -- NOT doing it as I would or maybe NOT as I did it.....does that make sense? And it is just not the ones close to me, but others that have come into our prayer life. I believe God is showing me that HE is still on the throne and HE is God. Ok, I will use this example, I sought forgiveness from my husband. You ask why? Cause I knew I had too. Our problems were not one sided. People judge him and believe that I am the remarkable one, but I am not - in God's eyes, all sin is sin. I think Reinhart Bonnke said it best, "we all know God will forgive the BIG sins, but we NEED God to forgive our little sins - those are the ones that will condemn us to hell". I believe that was the beginning of this revelation to me, God was showing me clearly -- sin is sin. And I guess I am judging the sin to a degree but really judging how the 'therpy' is moving along.
I have had two situations within the past week were I knew that I knew -- I had preconceived ideas and notions about situations and God showed me otherwise. I had three situations with 'people' examples where God showed me my opinion of those people had to CHANGE! It was very clear. I knew it as soon as someone was speaking to me that God had appointed that story and that time for me to hear it!
To top it off, my cell Pastor, had us share a time when God was disciplining us and HE uses HIS word...oh my! That was her topic last Monday, God was clearly reminding me that HE wanted something to change in me.
I have several examples. Not going to share them all. The bottom line, it is like Beth Moore will say, "I am a sinner, I was in such a PIT of destruction and HE saved me- loved me OUT of that PIT".
God has loved me out of my pit. HE has given me so much, but I believe HE is going to continue to change and mold me for HIS purposes and THAT is what I want. I do. When Linda ( cell pastor ) made the comment about God spanking us...I did not want to own up to that, as God has been changing me but I have NOT felt a good spanking in a long time and I hope to NEVER again...but this past week, he was showing me clearly that HE has higher expectations for me. ( I sort of thought I had survived most of the HARD spankings.....really God? )
Do not judge....It is 'easy' to not judge life styles, what they choose to eat, or choices of music...it is harder not to judge someone's actions and thought processes when they seem to be serving the Lord. ....Did you hear that...'seem' to be? THERE it is... I was judging their walk......and, I have NO right to judge, but in prayer......in prayer.....in prayer, we can discern stuff and God shows and tells me much, but I need to make sure it is within prayer. It has to be in LOVE!
Sometimes I think it is just my natural 'mother' instinct or 'older sister' avenue...I want to help....I want to fix...I just want to shake up a few and say ....LISTEN...I have been there...and no matter what the circumstance - BELIEVE HE can fix it, change it, remove it...just BELIEVE....
But, as my husband reminds me - it has to come in HIS perfect timing and in the meantime, we were faithful, hope and pray, without ceasing.
And within all of this, God revealed to me, I was still harboring a bit of unforgiveness. Really God? I am still holding onto unforgiveness?
Bottom line, I was expecting - still - some sort of restitution or apology or something from a person that I have claimed to forgive. I just got done reading the blog post about Unforgiveness from Elisabeth Cochran and I shared it on facebook. ( I highly recommend reading it too!)
So, I must begin the arduous task of forgiving. I do not want to, I must admit. I think I enjoy, somewhere deep down, savoring this pain. But, as they say, holding onto an offense is like drinking poison and expecting your offender to die. My offender does not care. My offender more than likely gives no thought to me. I am the one keeping this alive.
And though, yes, there are innumerable Scriptures that prod me to forgive, I think what I’m struck with the most is the number of verses where God tells someone he is going to forgive them or has forgiven them; which means, God is a forgiving God. Which means, I should be a forgiving person. Because I so desperately want to be like him. And I am desperate to live free the way he wants me to live free. And so it begins.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. –Colossians 3:13-
I believe I had a person on a pedestal not because I felt they were godly..but I felt they were SO ungodly and now...it was time for the godly to get her apology.
I am being very honest.
She does not have to do that. No, she does not. Her relationship with our God does not effect mine.
I have read books, had counsel, and even my physchologist said: do not expect an apology. Do not. But I guess, I was still holding out for one. I admit, I was. Like Elisabeth said, my offender probably does not care - I am keeping this alive.
Let me add:
I believe my husband and I had a REAL emotional healing in the past year....as we come to the 'anniversary' of our moving into our 2nd rental...that is when certain things began to change. That is when I believe, I was able to breathe, even with uncertainity, that maybe, just maybe, the man I married could be trusted again. And God did heal. And he is a man now that I trust. And to add, there have a been a few arguments and LIFE that has occured in the past month and I did not crumble, did not take on blame, did not allow it to manipulate the home....as I knew I had a healing from MANY childhood hurts and disappointments and now I was a 'big girl'...with mature thinking in most areas. And so, with the healing I received last weekend ( at the Gospel Fest ) and with just living....well, I figured all was ok. And then the Enemy reminded me -- that apology that I am going to receive from the woman...there I said it....I really believed I deserved an apology. Oh how the Enemy works, with whispers and thoughts. That is why Paul said, we must RENEW our minds.....As I said, I wanted an apology. And I really believed I deserved one....... Until I heard someone say yesterday, "I am remarkable"...
I am not. Remarkable by myself.
God put it all together. That next 35 minutes in my car was a chatting/prayer session with my Lord....that was it....this remarkable woman still had unforgiveness...she still was hurting and in reality was mad at God for not delivering that prayer request. Wow.
What else can I say? I am going to continue to pray for her. And ask Jesus to make sure, I am forgiving her- totally. And I am going to contiue to pray for the ones around me that in in the middle of struggle and bathe them in prayer, smile and listen when I can, but trust God to move within them and their hearts. Trust God to speak to them as HE does to me. Trust God in HIS timing. And I won't judge them if they continue to live or lie within their hurts, pit, and /or sin...as one has to be MOST hungry and WANT to be out of the PIT! And I will continue to allow God to disciplilne and teach me as HE fulfills his purpose for me. And I will cherish the fact and believe that 'she' too, can have or has the SAME relationship with God that I do. I have too. I want to feel that way, so until the feeling comes I will proclaim it in faith. I don't WANT anything to withhold any blessings. I serve a remarkable God..and I CAN do all ( remarkable ) things WITH HIM. But I also know, God did the miracle and healing, as we know HE will use us, he has begun to prepare our hearts. It is a process ..a slow process but in HIS timing. It is perfect.
When we really get to the bottom of what really hurts us or what we are not fogiving...well, in my case, it has been God at the bottom...I mean, I really have to 'let' God off the hook ......as I believe HE is in control of all things, and yet, HE gave us free will. Trusting God. Trusting Him. Trusting in Him that HE can love other sinners like me - JUST as much. What revelation this past week.
I had been thinking and praying..... Chell, you haven't had a BIG revelation of sorts from God -- and yet, HE was teaching me and preparing me for this all the time. I am so thankful for a God who does not punish and SPANK me hard, but loves me enough to allow me to SLOWLY see where I needed to show more grace and mercy and forgive.....
I am who God says I am.
I can do what God says I can do.
I can do all things through Christ JEsus.
God will do what He says HE is going to do -- and I am going to believe God.
His word is alive and active in me.
I will abide in prayer.
I will trust the discerning gift HE has given me
I will memorize the do not judge verse...
I will pray for her.
I will not doubt HIS purpose for me.
I will believe God wins.
- humbled, Michelle
And I would add, if this did help you in your struggle or walk with him, let me know. Iron sharpens Iron!